Age and Aging: Some Facts and a Lot of Hype

A. Mark Clarfield

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Aging is a universal phenomenon, only recently of broad interest to the scientific community, despite its importance to public health. The books under review here, Sinclair and LaPlante’s Lifespan (2019) and Armstrong’s Borrowed Time (2019), examine the various causes of the aging process. The first concentrates primari-ly on one family of the many theories in existence; the second offers a broader context. Neither adequately examines the sociopolitical implications of population aging that have already begun to affect the high-income countries of the world and will very soon roil the poorer regions of the planet as well. Both books suffer from a rosy view of how we might improve or slow the aging process, and neither offers serious solutions for the challenges that await us—demographic, clinical, and ethical. Unfortunately, although much serious scientific work is now evident, the field has become polluted by those who wish to take advantage of this newly discovered market. Although the authors of the books under review are not a part of this pernicious and cynical trend, neither do they adequately warn the readers if its imminence.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)345-355
Number of pages11
JournalPerspectives in Biology and Medicine
Issue number2
StatePublished - 1 Mar 2022

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Health Policy
  • Issues, ethics and legal aspects
  • History and Philosophy of Science


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